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Pressure Grows On Sergio Perez After Disastrous F1 British GP Qualifying

f1 grand prix of great britain qualifying
Perez Woes Continue at F1 British GP Peter Fox - Formula 1 - Getty Images

The pressure on Sergio Perez is growing after another setback during qualifying for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix on Saturday.

Perez spun off in damp-but-drying conditions on his out-lap in Q1 at Silverstone, having just switched to slicks, and his Red Bull RB20 became beached in the gravel at Copse corner.

Perez will start the British Grand Prix from 19th on the grid, ahead only of the penalized Alpine of Pierre Gasly.

Perez, who has been with Red Bull since 2021, was awarded a two-year extension in May, keeping him at Red Bull Racing through 2026.

But it is understood that senior Red Bull figures are unhappy at his recent performances, in which he has trailed Max Verstappen by a sizeable margin.

f1 grand prix of great britain qualifying
Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 spins out into the gravel during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 06, 2024 in Northampton, England.Peter Fox - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Perez has not finished on a non-Sprint podium since China, back in April, and has picked up only 15 points across the most recent five events.

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The catalyst for those poor results has been Perez’s one-lap displays on a Saturday, with the Mexican now having failed to qualify higher than eighth since Miami, a run that has included three exits from the first segment of qualifying.

“[The pressure] has nothing to do with it, I’m fully focused on my job, I’m fully focused on getting the performance out of myself, I know where I can be,” Perez said. “Yesterday we had a very positive day, things were looking in the right direction, so yeah, head down and it’s a matter of time before we turn around the situation.

“I put my hand up because I f--ked up today, and tomorrow is a new day.”

He added: “I’m fully committed to the team, I’m fully committed to my career, I have a contract with the team and I will turn things around.”

Perez has slipped to fifth in the Drivers’ Championship due to his slump while Red Bull is unexpectedly vulnerable in the Constructors’ Championship, with its margin over Ferrari only 64 points, despite Max Verstappen’s own 81-point advantage in the Drivers’ Championship.

McLaren is 87 points behind Red Bull and CEO Zak Brown admitted earlier on Saturday, before qualifying, that Perez’s lack of performance was keeping its slim hopes alive of contending for that title.

Brown added that if he was in charge at Red Bull he, “would be very concerned about the lack of performance” but emphasized that “I like Sergio, so I wouldn’t want to comment further on that.”

f1 british grand prix 2024 qualifying
George Russell led a 1-2-3 for the British representatives at a chilly Silverstone.NurPhoto - Getty Images

Red Bull has Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo on its books at the RB team. Liam Lawson is on standby at both its teams as reserve and will drive the Red Bull RB20 during a filming day at Silverstone on Thursday – a commitment which has been in the diary for some time.

Perez’s Red Bull teammate Verstappen also had a high-speed off through the gravel at the same corner, damaging his floor, which he claimed cost him a sizeable 100 points of downforce. That affected overall grip, and left him chasing a changing balance, but the floor can be repaired come Sunday. He still recovered to fourth in a session that was dominated by the Brits on home soil.

George Russell led a 1-2-3 for the British representatives at a chilly Silverstone, beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris to claim top spot.

It marked Mercedes’ first 1-2 during a qualifying session since 2021 as the Silver Arrows’ rejuvenation continues apace.

F1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2024 - QUALIFYING RESULTS

1 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:30.106 1:26.723 1:25.819 26 2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.547 1:26.770 1:25.990 25 3 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1:31.596 1:26.559 1:26.030 22 4 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 1:31.342 1:26.796 1:26.203 24 5 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 1:30.895 1:26.733 1:26.237 24 6 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 1:31.929 1:26.847 1:26.338 17 7 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:30.557 1:26.843 1:26.509 24 8 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:31.410 1:26.938 1:26.585 24 9 23 Alexander Albon Williams Mercedes 1:31.135 1:26.933 1:26.640 23 10 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:31.264 1:26.730 1:26.917 24 11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.496 1:27.097 18 12 2 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 1:31.608 1:27.175 20 13 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB Honda RBPT 1:30.994 1:27.269 17 14 24 Zhou Guanyu Kick Sauber Ferrari 1:31.190 1:27.867 22 15 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB Honda RBPT 1:31.291 1:27.949 18 16 77 Valtteri Bottas Kick Sauber Ferrari 1:32.431 11 17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:32.905 6 18 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:34.557 11 19 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 1:38.348 5 20 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 1:39.804 7

Pos

No

Driver

Car

Q1

Q2

Q3

Laps